I will never forget the day I found out Gigi’s mom was expecting again. She reached out to schedule her newborn session not too long after we had completed her older daughter, Mia’s, cake smash. It was so exciting to watching another family grow.
Shortly after our first conversation though, Mia and Gigi’s parents learned that it was possible their baby would be born with Down’s Syndrome and there were also potential concerns with her heart. But Gigi was given to the right parents. She was sent to them for a reason. And do you know what those two loving people did? They learned everything they possibly could about Down’s Syndrome, the health challenges Gigi might face, and how to give her all of the best opportunities in this world. They were chosen for her and she was chosen for them.
When Gigi was born, she did in fact have complications that kept her in the hospital. She endured surgeries at a very young age and has been fed through a g-tube for her first year. The challenges she has faced have not hindered her strong spirit though. Gigi is a fighter, but also a true gift. Her smile lights up a room, and I would know because I got to capture that smile during her first birthday session just a few weeks ago.
For Gigi’s cake smash session, her mom and I discussed whether or not self-feeding was going to be an option. It is a skill she is still working on, and she continues to get most of her nutrition through her g-tube. So while we did plan a traditional cake smash, we also incorporated photos of Gigi attached to her tube, as it is part of her everyday life.
But again, Gigi surprised us by digging right into her cake, and with a couple of assisted bites from Mia, she was able to take some small bites on her own. We watched as this tiny human, who was in the hospital just one year earlier, continued to take steps forward.
There is so much more to Gigi’s story than I even know. Her parents have given her a social media hashtag (#nostoppingthegig) after a nickname she was given in the NICU. She continues to exceed all of the milestones and expectations. She is so loved by her sister Mia, and together they will take on the world. I know this won’t be the last time I will get to see this family, and I am so excited to watch both of these girls grow.
Follow Gigi on social media to learn more about her story with the hashtag #nostoppingthegig or #gigisstory. It will certainly brighten your feed to see that big smile on your screen.
Want to capture your own child’s very first birthday cake smash? Let’s chat!